In his defense, Junior’s been dealt a hard hand to play with the effect of the NCAA sanctions on USC’s roster numbers. But he knew the job was difficult when he
fell into took it. So nobody’s going to feel sorry for him if he gets his hand burned from being a little too aggressive massaging the offers.
Defensive end Kylie Fitts, a four-star recruit Rivals ranked seventh nationally at his position, was committed to USC and took extra high school classes so he could graduate early and enroll at the university in January.
Fitts talked to a couple USC coaches at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 and they said they were ready to have him on campus. But the following Monday, he received a call saying his scholarship was no longer available for the spring semester.
Fitts was supposed to be on campus on Jan. 10.
The Trojans didn’t pull his scholarship entirely, but deferred him to the fall because they didn’t have a scholarship freed up from a graduating senior like they thought they would. However, since Fitts had already graduated high school, he had nowhere to go and didn’t want to wait.
There’s something remarkable going on here. It’s not a case of a coach pulling the plug on a marginal kid – Fitts is highly ranked, isn’t injured and doesn’t have academic concerns. The Laner just thought Fitts was so awed by the idea of playing for him that he’d put his life on hold for a few months. Maybe that approach would have more sway if USC was coming off a big bowl win, or an appearance in a BCS game, but unfortunately for Kiffin, a Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech lacks a certain cachet.
Fitts’ high school coach is even less enamored of Junior than Fitts is, judging by this:
Hey, when Junior gets canned at USC and jumps back to an NFL head coaching slot a couple of weeks later, he’ll remind us it’s all part of the plan.